Michael Jackson nephew Jaafar Jackson to play King Of Pop in biopic

Michael Jackson nephew Jaafar Jackson to play King Of Pop in biopic

This news won’t quash ever-growing talks of nepo-babies …

Then again, who better to play Michael Jackson in the upcoming biopic Michael than his nephew?

Indeed, after a worldwide search, Jaafar Jackson will portray his uncle in Lionsgate’s upcoming biopic, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Emancipation).

Michael will be the first major film role for Jaafar Jackson, the second-youngest son to Jackson 5 member Jermaine Jackson, whose brother was Michael Jackson.

Getty Images
La Toya Jackson (left) and Jaafar Jackson (center) arrive for the Face Forward International 10th Annual Gala (September 2019); Jaafar will play his uncle Michael (right) - Getty Images

“Jaafar embodies my son. It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers,” said the singer’s mother Katherine Jackson.

“I met Jaafar over two years ago and was blown away by the way he organically personifies the spirit and personality of Michael,” said producer Graham King, whose credits include Bohemian Rhapsody.

“It was something so powerful that even after conducting a worldwide search, it was clear that he is the only person to take on this role. I am beyond thrilled that he has come on board to portray his uncle and cannot wait for the world to see him on the big screen as Michael Jackson.”

“It’s incredibly exciting to watch Jaafar bring Michael to life,” said Fuqua. “There was such a spiritual connection when I first met Jaafar, who has a natural ability to emulate Michael and such a great chemistry with the camera.”

Whether or not it was truly a worldwide search seems a bit far-fetched – this announcement feels tailored to work as a headline-grabbing stunt to drum up more excitement for the film. And as Euronews Culture reported last week, quite how much the estate-approved biopic will depict the complicated legacy of the King of Pop is up for debate.

However, Jaafar Jackson’s musical background (he has been singing and dancing since the age of 12) and likeness to his uncle do make him an appropriate casting coup.

Filming on Michael is due to begin later this year. The film will be produced by King and the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate, John Branca and John McClain.